Picking up where I left off a couple of days ago on things I miss growing up in the neighborhood…

I miss:


Getting a basketball for a present every Christmas; getting dressed and running across the street to the Schoolyard…

Going to basketball games at Bishop Ford…And sneaking in through the red door without the handle on 9th avenue…

Watching the older guys play 3 on 3 basketball in the schoolyard…

Playing taps in the schoolyard…

Watching summer league basketball games…

Getting an ice from Bonnalli’s…

Working in Key Food on 9th avenue for a dollar an hour…

Delivering the Daily News at 6:30 AM…(Not really)

Playing in the rain…

Talking with Tom Brady…

Talking with Leo Ferritty…

Throwing snowballs from Jimmy Cullen’s backyard at a neighbor a few doors down…

Buying newspapers from Ray and Otto’s…

Riding the B75 Bus…

Slipping under the revolving gate at the Windsor Place Subway station…

Cross-Country practice in Prospect Park West…

Drinking Wild Irish Rose in the back of the Home…

Hanging out in the subway late at night to stay warm…

Sitting on the window sill with a pillow watching all the people walk by…

Eating Fish Cakes and Beans on Friday’s from Henry’s Deli on Prospect Avenue…

Hanging out in hallways on 16th street and the Parkside…

Rice Pudding from Pynn’s Deli…

Being chased by La-La, Mr. Zoli and yes, the NYPD…

Sitting on the Corral drinking Tango…

Getting a haircut from Harry’s…

Playing cards on the sidewalk…

Hanging out on a stoop shooting the breeze…

Being a member of Danny Pisselli’s Bantam basketball team going to O.L.A chanting “UC-LA” with teammates walking down 74th street in Bay Ridge at 9AM…

Playing CYO basketball and wearing a Holy Name jersey…

Talking with Red from Red’s Shoe Store…

Playing Whiffle Ball with Tommy Houk on Howard Place…

Listening to Carmine tell us he pitched last night for the Mets all the while we knew they were on a West Coast trip…

Buying 45’s for ninety-nine cents at the Record shop on 5th avenue…

My red, curly hair…

Most of all, I miss all my friends I grew up with on the Avenue…


I’m now on Facebook and Twitter: @CoachFinamore

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45 Responses to THINGS I MISS (PART 2)

  1. Jackie Kelly says:

    I miss my hair.

  2. Coach,
    I love reading your lists of things you miss. It immediately takes me back to those days in the neighborhood that I still treasure. I hope you include more from time to time.

    Here are a few of the things I miss dearly:

    Hanging out on the Pilgrim Laundry with all my friends.

    Drinking wine and coke in the KofC

    Playing roller hockey on Terrace Place between Sherman and Prospect.

    Going to the High School dances at Bishop Ford and Bishop Kearney

    Running laps on the wooden track in Bishop Ford’s schoolyard.

    Drinking beer on the bleachers in Prospect Park

    Sitting on the bench, playing my guitar on the Parkside across from Kalamo’s

    My brown, curly hair AND some of my teeth

    Hanging out with my friends in prospect park by the lake in the the gazebo

    Pitching baseball cards at 3’oclock after getting out of Holy Name

    Tending bar in the KofC on 19th street

    Giving old man Jack in the Windsor Pub his weekly shave

    Going to the band shell and Golden Age House in Prospect Park to hear local bands

    Playing football on the neighborhood team (The Condors)

    Playing shuffle bowling in Gerardi’s bar

    Playing in my band with Kevin Walsh, John Dudar, Keith Carlson and Eddie Barkowi

    Playing Simon Says and Truth Dare or Consequences with my friends on hot summer nights on the stoops of 18th street

    Riding the whip and King Kong

    Hanging out on the Elephant steps in Prospect Park on Friday Nights.

  3. Fr. Peter says:

    I miss my mind the most

  4. richie k says:

    i think jackie should apply for david Lettermans job lol

  5. Brooklin says:

    I miss….

    -playing softball as a kid in PS 154 schoolyard on a hot summer day and later going over to Fucci’s Candy Store for a brown bag of 1 cent candies and a 25 cent bottle of coke while sitting in the shade cooling off with my friends.

    -Vacation Day Camp at PS 154 with that awesome softball league that they had!

    -Hanging out on the steps at night at PS 154 with the older guys talking sports and anything else while laughing a lot while doing it!

  6. Chief says:

    Coach All great stuff !Hey Junior how are you !, how about the Friday night parties after Bishop Ford basketball at Jocko’s house !
    Here’s a few winter things that I miss from growing up in the neighborhood. We had some pretty cold winters and some major snow storms back in the 60’s

    A snow day was always a good thing ,spending all day sledding in Prosprect Park at Suicide Hill or if you dared the “Three Devils” hill.

    The Ice skating rink in the park. But better yet was when we had a string of cold days we would go over to the pond next to the paddle boat lake and play ice hockey. The sixth grade teacher Brother Alyoisuis would bring a bag full of equipment and the game was on ! A lot of kids got their first taste of ice hockey from those games in the park.

    Shoveling the schoolyard to play some hoops, then getting a hot choclate and donut from the L & J bakery.

    Football in the snow.

    Also nothing like a good snowball fight !

    I wonder which video game the kids play today on a cold winter day ?

  7. TonyF16thSt says:

    I miss the all night chases on Halloween. there must be a few guys out there who can add to this,Harry,Charlie K, Corrado

  8. richie k says:

    junior whats up, lol you remember giving jack his shaves!!! jack ritter

  9. JIMMY VAC says:

    I miss:
    – going to the Windsor Pub with my buddied follwed by
    going to the city and seeing concerts at the Garden
    -Going to Met games for .90 and sneaking down to the good seats
    -Going to Sanders movie theater all day and playing tag upstairs
    -Jackie Kelly’s hair

  10. Mike Rafferty says:

    I miss:
    Playing hockey up at the bandshell
    Celebrating the Pope’s visit up at the Echo House
    Walking everywhere
    Hitting one off the Brown Monster on 10th Ave
    Going home for lunch (work would be better with that perk)
    Sledding down car hoods on Suicide Hill
    Hanging outside Farrell’s on a cool summer night
    My sisters!

  11. Hey Chief, what’s up. Wow I forgot about those parties at Jocko’s!

    Richie, how are you? Still in Staten Island? Ya, Jack was good old guy, I remember both of us having lots of laughs with him.. Do you remember he had a crush on Mary the owner of the Pub.

  12. Glenn Thomas says:

    I miss…

    Going to Shea as a kid with the moderator of this blog and paying $2.50 for General Admission to a game. We would go to a late August doubleheader around 1980-81 where the Mets already eliminated and would be out at least 15-20 games. We sat upstairs in the “nose bleeds” for the first game and after the first game ended we would rush downstairs and catch people leaving after the first game that were sitting in the box seats. We would score some tickets from those people exiting and take their seats for game 2 and sit two rows behind the Cardinals dugout. Wouldn’t you know it that future Met hero Keith Hernandez of the Cardinals flips the ball up to the crowd after the inning ended to our faithful moderator. Do you still have that ball?

    playing all sorts of sports/games in PS 154 schoolyard.
    Besides hoops, football, and softball we would play “swift” automatics stickball and “off the wall” stickball where each floor of the school represented a certain hit (1b, 2b, etc) and the people out in the field had to catch the ball on a fly when it it came off or richoceted hard off of the school. (I am sure that “The Chief” can remember when we thought Tom Brady was joking one time when the stickball bat slipped out of your hands slipped out of your hands and we realized that Tom wasn’t joking and we had to take him to the Methodist to fix the side of his eye that got hit with that flying bat). Thank God Brady got treated and later healed. Those were great games. I miss hanging out on the steps of the school leading out to Sherman St. at night. I miss the late great Joe Farrell playing hoops as if it was the NBA finals with his intensity! I also miss sitting on those steps to the yard listening to the older guys talk sports, horse racing and just joking on one another which was great theater!
    I remember older guys like Dan Piselli, Joe Farrell, Bobby Olsen, Forte Bellino, Dan Mahoney, Tom McGrade, Charlie Worsdale, Tom Brady and Eddie Nicholes to name just a few Great times back in the 1974-1979 range!

    • hoopscoach says:

      I still have that ball! Great memory…

    • George Farrell says:

      I remember the fast pitch softball games in PS 154 schoolyard in the early and mid-1950’s. Older guys playing for money with the one and only umpire stationed behind the pitcher because he had to rule on the calls on the baserunners and do balls and strikes. I always volunteered to be the monkey and sit up on the setback in right-center field to throw back any balls hit up there. They used “Clincher” softballs and they were expensive. Guys would give me a boost up to the pipe and up I’d climb. Best seat in the house! After the game they would pass the hat for the monkey and I’d walk away with my pockets loaded with nickels, dimes and the occasional quarter. Straight as a string I’d hotfoot it to Asimov’s candy store and reach into that huge red Coca~Cola ice box and grab a Mission orange soda and a couple of Devil Dogs and sit in the sun. King of the world, Ma!

      • hoopscoach says:

        Softball down 154’s was fun to watch, and play.

        Who was the best softball player during that time?


      • George Farrell says:

        Don’t know who was the best because these guys were much older than I…to me they were grown men. My favorite guy was my neighbor Charlie Neary who always called me “kid”. Charlie was a handsome and polite guy who was KIA in Korea around 1951. Forgotten guys from the “forgotten war”. I remember I had a hard time wondering why he was not ever coming home. Charlie lived at 206/208 Windsor Place. I wonder if there is a memorial anywhere in Windsor Terrace honoring the guys who never came home.

  13. BUTCH FERRITY says:


    • hoopscoach says:

      What’s up Dr. Butch! Good to hear from you. Please feel free to post your memories…hope you are well. All is good on this end.

  14. richie k says:

    still in staten island, remember jack and some of the things he use to say to her also lol, remember his buddy sean? man they could put it away

  15. JIMMY VAC says:

    Mary at the Windsor Pub eas a sweetheart. Her daughter was a pretty good .. I remember hearing she got hurt when some animal threw a rock through the window.
    The Pub was a blast until the drugs ruined it. They had a
    bartender Barney (?) who would give you a kickback beer before you paid for the first one.. he liked a nip now and then behind the bar..

  16. Jackie Kelly says:

    LOL……It’s nice to know others besides my barber miss my hair but it appears I found it on my son’s head. At least it’s still in the family. Next Halloween we’ll go trick or treating together as “Before And After”.

  17. Glenn Thomas says:

    It was brought to my attention that I somehow made one “major” omission from the older crew that I previously mentioned that used to hang out on the steps in PS 154 schoolyard. I can’t believe that I forgot or somehow “missed” to include Rich Ferraiolo in that group for he was at that yard just as much if not more than the others. My apologies to Rich. I guess that I had a senior moment at the ripe old age of 46. My best to him and those guys mentioned should they read this blog!

  18. Glenn Thomas says:

    Mike Rafferty,
    It is good to see you on the blog. I remember you in right field, Joe Mushalla in center fireld, and me in left field for Mr. Castaldo’s baseball teams! I see your mom once in a while in the neighborhood. I am glad to see that you are well. I miss the roller hockey too!
    That was a good call on your part for that brought back memories!
    Take care.

  19. JIMMY VAC says:

    Or you can be Uncle Festus and I can be Lurch.. at about 6’5 290 I can be Lurch, Herman Munster, or Frank N. Stein…
    Danny Mahoney is one of the great guys from the neighborhood.. one of my favorite memories was going bowling and dropping by to visit your grandmother upstairs. I remember going there at different times with Timmy Horan, Donny Rice, Tommy “the Toad” Natoli, and Robert Artz. At first, my Aunt Catherine suggested I stop by and say hello to her but after a while I did it on her own because she was a fun lady.. and then I would sometimes
    see you and your folks..
    It is amazing how the stuff we miss the most was simple , everyday stuff.

  20. I have not seen Danny Mahoney in years, I cannot think of the KofC on 19th street without thinking of Danny! We had such great times.

    I don’t know how I left this off my list of things I miss because it ranks as one of the top things I miss: “Playing in the band with Jocko at the St.Francis frat parties. Jocko is my lifetime best friend and was best man at my wedding.

    Mike Rafferty
    I knew your sisters Maureen and Annie very well. I hung out with Maureen and the gang on the parkside for many years and I used to give Annie and her girlfriends rides in my camaro all the time and Annie always used to help me wash my car.

    I think of both Maureen and Annie everytime I pass the old house on 10th ave. They were both wonderful people.

  21. Larry Maloney says:

    Great refresher on great things from as great neighborhood! Thanks! …how about:
    – Lining up outside at Holy Name before school even if it was 5 degrees out
    – Playing “king of the hill” on the big snow mounds the plows would create on sides of round
    – Taking our “Holy Name book bags” and throwing them on the icy street to see who can have their bag slide the farthest (once I had mine cross a street and have a car hit it?)
    – Going home from school for a good lunch our Mom’s would have waiting for us
    – Playing “all-day” slap-ball or stickball games on Saturday – and the big treat is when some of the Dad’s would join in one of the games.
    – Getting your report card at end of year and immediately looking at box that would hopefully be checked “promoted?” and what a relief it was knowing you “made it”
    – Ordering books at school and patiently waiting and then one day, you would see a big box on teachers desk and waiting patiently for them to distribute books at end of day
    – Pitching, flipping, and trading baseball cards in school yard. (Closest to wall, Dubs-where person who knocked down last standing card won everything, tops-first person to top someone else’s card won) Big crowds would gather around some of the bigger games.
    – Brother Baylon (sp?) had a wiffleball bat that he would whack your hands with if you didn’t turn in the punish lesson… he was a character! (side note- I remember one day he stood on window sill and threatened to jump if we didn’t shutup and we’d all be murderers; first day of class he challenged everyone that if someone can come up and box him and knock him down they would get “A’s” in all subjects for the whole year. I was sitting next to Charlie Alberti who was about 4″ bigger than Baylon at the time and toughest guy in grade with Kevin Cronin, and Charlie was thinking about it, but I talked him out of it)
    – Having the Good humor truck come and have a few of your friends order something that comes from the side door as someone would open back door and grab a few root beer whammy sticks which cost 5 cents. (criminals!)
    – Millions more!!!!! gotta stop and go to work ….

  22. jim vackner says:

    The last time I saw Jocko was on the Staten Island train over 25 years ago. He instroduced me to a guy named Volker, who was a friend of his. Volker and I got off at the Grant City station and proceeded to walk down Greeley Ave (we had bought out house about 6 months earlier). We asked each other what number house.. turned out we lived across the street from each other.

  23. Hi Jim,

    Jocko is still living on Staten Island. He teaches at Monsignor Farrell High School. I see him often and will mention I spoke with you on the blog.

    I had great times with him and the rest of the frat party band, he named us Jocko and the Jocketts (there were 3 girls in the band up front singing). He hasn’t changed, still a fun guy.

  24. jim vackner says:

    What is Jocko’s real name.. I remember when Augie (16 street)
    had moved to Staten island and I would take the train with him on occassion. I went to introduce him to a woman I work with and I started to say Augie and he quickly corrected me and said Richard.. I looked at him and said,” I did not know that!”

  25. Rich Ferraiolo says:

    Larry, That was too funny about Bro.Baylon, I remember him and that wiffleball bat of his.

  26. H Mills says:

    Tony– on “things i miss, part 1” you talked about the Grady Special bus, bringing the boys back home after school, up Coney Island Ave. Well, i heard about how crazy a ride that was, so one day i actually took the Coney Island Ave bus down to Grady and rode back home with some of you guys. As soon as everybody got on the bus, OUT CAME THE TOOLS !!! and the dismantling started !!!!!!!! Half the bus went out the windows !!! I thought by the time the bus got up to the circle, all that was gonna be left were the frame, the tires and the bus driver holding a steering wheel !!!

  27. Larry,

    Do you remember the term brother Baylon used for bull crap? I think it was something along the line as horse whip, although if i recall he used to pronounce it like “huss whip”.

    Jocko’s real name is Joe Harouni

  28. jimmy vac says:

    How’s Kevin doing? He was Joe Cronin’s younger brother… ?

  29. Glenn Thomas says:

    Things I miss….

    -A Bonnalli’s malted or chocolate ice

    -HN hoops games and practices down at PS 10. Meeting in Smith’s Funeral Parlor prior when it was too cold to stand outside. Smith’s would let us keep warm inside and play games with us by making the elevator that carried the cadavers go up and down to and from the basement scaring us and making us laugh all at the same time.

    -Going to college hoops game at the Garden over the holidays or a great doubleheader when the Garden would rock! Iona defeating eventual NCAA champ Louisville 1981 comes to mind!

    -Going down to Lenny’s Pizzeria after winning the summer league little league with my teammates with head coach Rich Ferraiolo treating us. I greatly appreciate that to this day Rich!

    -My HN teammates in CYO baseball like Mike Rafferty, Joe Mushalla, Michael “Red” Slavin, Robert Powers, John Mastrion, Bobby Brennan, and all of the others.

    -Going to Sanders Theater for a rainy Saturday Kung Fu double feature with Chris Bullock, Michael Woodworth, and others. We exited the theater thinking we were martial arts experts!

    -The old CYO Surf Club on weekends in Coney Island and all of the HN and IHM families that were members. Great times.

    -Playing roller hockey on 10th Avenue and over at the 9th St. Bandshell with Richie Costa, Oscar, and Co.

    -seeing Joey Corrar up on the Avenue. He was a staple of the neighborhood.

    -my brother Drew

    • hoopscoach says:

      Excellent memories…I made a major ommission with Joey-I miss him. To this day I tell everyone he called NC State over Houston in the NCAA finals. No one else gave the Wolfpack a chance. “A Finamore, watch Valvano tonight; they’re gonna beat Houston.” said JC.

  30. Larry Maloney says:

    Jimmy Vac – sorry, it was Joe Cronin I was thinking about, not Kevin. He would have graduated HN in 1971. Cronin and Alberti were by far two strongest in our grade, however I saw Frankie Caputo lose it once and I think he could have beaten up Mike Tyson at that point.

    Joe Harouni, there’s a name I haven’t heard for a while. Joe was a great guy. Big dude (in 7th at least)

  31. Tommy Cole says:

    Baylon used to call us “Fahts (Boston accent) in a Bottle” when I had him his first year at HNS. I was great friends with that “Bop the Beetle” bat he used to use on us then. We never got on from day one when he caught me calling him Popye – remember those bug eyes of his? Anybody remember him and that group of kids getting mugged in the park by some reprobate gang from the other side?

    • Jocko says:

      Yes. I remember that day well. It was Holy Name Field day in Prospect Park. Myself and Fonz (the late Joe Farrell) heard that Bro. Baylon was jumped by some hoods from the other side of the Park. I believe we were in his class (6th grade) at the time and we were going nuts, looking for tree limbs and swearing to find and kill all those hoods that would do such a thing. When the next school day arrived there was Bro. Baylon ( real name was Bro. Joseph Kelly) his usual eccentric self, unharmed. Who knew that as young as were we would care so much for a crazy old guy that was at times abusive yet we knew he cared for us. He used to grab the ends of this cassack and hold his arms up and cry out “forty years I’ve been teaching you students and what gratitude do you show? Your all a bunch of fahts in a bottle!” He would give us a religious instruction every Friday, interesting stories about Saints, Heaven and, shudder, Hell. The impression he made on us lasted a lifetime. I hope he has found His reward in the next life. He was the most influential teacher I ever had in Holy Name. God rest his crazy Irish soul.

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